I am sure with the holidays coming up, you might have some big dinner plans of your own! If you are hosting this year, here are a few things to consider along with the holiday menu!
Pitch In - You don't have to cook it all yourself! Ask family members to either bring something they would love to make, or ask for a specific dish to help. This is the time to mention your favorite dish your Aunt Gina makes or that great dessert from Cousin Bob. They can still make something everyone loves for them to make, but, not have the responsibility of the entire meal.
Keep Your Counters Clean - This is important when guest are in your kitchen helping out, or when they bring their dishes to dinner. You need space for the dishes to sit, as well as some elbow room if there are last minute things that need to be done to a specific dish.
Utensils - Always have extra utensils ready. Someone may forget to bring a serving spoon or spatula when they bring their side dish. Also have trivets, folded towels or nice pot holders for hot dishes to sit on as well. It might also be a good idea to have extra serving dishes on hand. If you are setting a large table with several dishes of food and someone brought a crock pot with their dish to keep it warm, you will want a dish to serve the food in on the table. As a host, it's important that if your guests are helping out with the meal, that they have everything they need if they don't bring it themselves without any embarrassment.
All About the Flow - With a large meal that is being served buffet style, keeping like dishes together in certain areas can keep it easier for people to fill their plates and easily get their desserts later. Also, having a drink station that is separate will keep the flow going as well. Nothing worse than standing in line forever, just to get another spoonful of mashed potatoes while someone is already in line for pumpkin pie!
I hope these simple ideas help you along as you plan your next Big Dinner!